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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB efficiency question - 71% good? bad?




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Old 02-18-2011, 08:11 PM   #11
kable
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I did my first BIAB (true no sparge, no extra equipment to wash) this last weekend. I anticipated 70% for my recipe with a .125 gal/lb of grain for water absorption by the grain. I crushed my grains at my LHBS and was planning on running them through twice but didn't have enough time. Their mill is set for standard AG.

I pulled my grain bag and lightly pushed it against the side of the boil pot and then hand suspended in the air for about 30 seconds. I would say about 90% of the water drained out in that time. I tossed this into a bucket to throw out later. For fun I ended up hanging the bag off a door knob, but still in the bucket. It really only ended up draining out another quart or so (didn't use it). Next time I would calculate about .1 or a tad less per pound of grain.

I was only a couple of points off and BeerSmith calculated my efficiency at 76%.

I had some problems keeping my brew pot temperature consistent throughout the 60 min mash (aluminum and cold weather), but other than that it went great. I really want to keep doing this method (time).

The wort is pretty cloudy and there is going to be a lot of trub. Does anyone know if this will clear up considerably?

An AG friend of mine did BIAB the day before and he had 72% efficiency.



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Old 02-18-2011, 08:29 PM   #12
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yes it clears up.. cold crashing before bottling or kegging goes a long way to making clear beer



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Old 02-19-2011, 12:05 AM   #13
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so far the last three I've done have had 70, 75, and 78%. The last time I squeezed the snot out of the bag. Stirring I think is definitely necessary at least initially, and probably after the mash is done. I think anything between 70-80% you're doing just fine. Anything outside that and most people will say you're doing something wrong.

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Old 02-19-2011, 03:14 AM   #14
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efficiency is just a number.. if you can repeat that number and you make beer that taste great and makes you happy, then that's all that really matters

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Old 02-19-2011, 03:50 AM   #15
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For my last three BIAB batches (not counting the one that I F'd up with a cooler) I've been getting 78-82% efficiency... The last batch (82%) I stirred in the first 5# of base malt, got rid of the dough balls, then added the specialty grains, stirred in, then the rest of the base malt, stirred in... Took a temp reading, and started the timer... Checked temp/stirred every 15-20 minutes (had to heat slightly during the process, but only once)... Pulled the bag from the boil pot, drained it (used a large wood mixing paddle to support it and help drain it) and sparged in another pot... Drained everything I could from the bag out into the sparge pot and then boiled...

Way I see it, if I consistently hit a range I'll be happy. I've been formulating recipes with a 75% efficiency, so that even if I slip a little, I'll still be ok (for the recipe)...

Basically, once you have your method/process and hardware dialed in, to the point where you're getting a short range of efficiency, you're good.

My larger concern is getting the mash temps within the range I want for the brew.

You can always add some DME to the wort if you miss your target by too much... Or just accept what you get and still make something really good...

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Old 02-19-2011, 03:59 AM   #16
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If we wanna get a good efficiency into the boiler measurment, we need an exact volume of wort in the kettle pre boil measurment. We don't need to do this every time, as long as the mash and lauter processes stay the same, but if we're not measuring pre boil wort accurately, then we're only estimating efficiency.

Bob

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Old 02-19-2011, 04:10 AM   #17
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I really need to measure and mark my kettle, I'm always clueless until I transfer.

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Old 02-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iijakii View Post
I really need to measure and mark my kettle, I'm always clueless until I transfer.
You can also just measure/mark your stirring spoon. I melted small notches in my plastic stirring spoon to indicate key wort volumes like 5.5 gals, 6-gals, etc.

I found with my equipment, I boil down to the 5.5-gals notch on my spoon and once cooled I have approx. 5.2 gals of wort remaining.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #19
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I have done four now, and my first three were in the high 70's, but today I only got up to 67. Full volume and no sparge, but this one was at 154 mash temp, all the other one's were 152 or less. mashing hotter shouldn't affect my efficiency so much right?

also what do you guys mean by dough balls?? I run my grain through a corona mill, and perhaps I don't grind it fine enough because I have never had this issue, maybe I'd get better numbers?? Does anyone have any photo's of said dough balls?

All tasty brews so far, much better than my extract batches for sure.

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:04 PM   #20
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dough balls would be lump of grain that did not get mixed into the mash water very well leaving dry centers. think of it like dropping a cup of flour into a pot of water. it forms a ball that is dry inside and wet outside... that's a dough ball.

as far as the drop in efficiency. the temp shouldn't change anything. but you did leave out important info. like grain bill. on larger grain bills mine will drop. smaller grain bills it goes up.



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